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Brazilian takes charge of U.N. force in Haiti

By wire services
Published June 2, 2004

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - U.N. peacekeepers prepared to take command from an American-led multinational force Tuesday, facing uncertainty about troop numbers and funding, while flood victims wait for urgent help and armed rebels roam the countryside.

In a symbolic ceremony at the police academy, Brazilian army Gen. Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira took control of the projected 8,000-strong U.N. force, only a fraction of which has arrived.

Ribeiro Pereira will formally take command toward the end of June, when most of his troops arrive and U.S. forces leave.

Modeling of exposure during Gulf War criticized

WASHINGTON - The Defense Department and the CIA used flawed computer modeling to determine which and how many troops were exposed to chemical warfare agents during the Persian Gulf War, the General Accounting Office said Tuesday.

The Pentagon stood by its work, although it acknowledged shortcomings in the computer modeling.

Veterans of the 1991 Gulf War have suffered from illnesses they believe are linked to their service. Among reported symptoms are chronic fatigue, diarrhea, migraines, dizziness, memory problems, loss of muscle control and loss of balance.

The GAO said that since the end of 1991 about 700,000 U.S. veterans have experienced undiagnosed illnesses.

Elsewhere . . .

KARACHI VIOLENCE: Shiite Muslims enraged by a mosque bombing that killed 20 worshipers battled police and burned American fast-food restaurants Tuesday as the government struggled to contain a third day of violence in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. Mass funerals for the victims of Monday's attack sparked what appeared to be orchestrated rioting as hundreds of youths rampaged near the wrecked Imam Bargah Ali Raza mosque, stoning police and setting fire to shops and buses.

BRAZIL PRISON RIOT: At the end of the second major Brazilian prison riot in less than two months, police entered a Rio de Janeiro jail Tuesday and found 38 dead inmates, some of them beheaded and others with body parts stuffed in the trash. The killings at the Benfica detention center came during a three-day rebellion.

[Last modified June 1, 2004, 23:55:20]

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